为什么美国人称火鸡为"土耳其"

2015/2/11 9:20:00作者:来源:查看评论0条)字号:

    How a New World bird came to be named after countries halfway around the globe.
    这种新世界的鸟类为什么会以半个地球外的国家的名字来命名。
    Within the turkey lies the tangled history of the world.
    在土耳其境内有着错综复杂的世界历史。
    OK, not quite. But not far off, either.
    好吧,或许并非如此,但也相差无几了。
    "Turkey" the bird is native to North America. But "turkey" the word is a geographic mess—a tribute to the vagaries of colonial trade and conquest. As you might have suspected, the English term for the avian creature likely comes from Turkey the country. Or, more precisely, from Turkish merchants in the 15th and 16th centuries.
    "火鸡"这种鸟是原产于北美洲。但是"turkey"一词来源是一种地理上的大杂烩 — — 是对殖民地贸易和征服的异想天开的献礼。你可能认为这种鸟类的英文名字可能来自于土耳其这个国家的名字。或者,更确切地说,从第十五和十六世纪的土耳其商人那里得名。
    How exactly the word "turkey" made its way into the English language is in dispute. The linguist Mario Pei theorized that more than five centuries ago, Turks from the commercial hub of Constantinople (which the Ottomans conquered in the mid-15th century) sold wild fowl from Guinea in West Africa to European markets, leading the English to refer to the bird as "turkey cock" or "turkey coq" (coq being French for "rooster”), and eventually "turkey" for short. When British settlers arrived in Massachusetts, they applied the same terms to the wild fowl they spotted in the New World, even though the birds were a different species than their African counterparts. The etymology expert Mark Forsyth, meanwhile, claims that Turkish traders brought guinea fowl to England from Madagascar, off the coast of southeast Africa, and that Spanish conquistadors then introduced American fowl to Europe, where they were conflated with the "turkeys" from Madagascar. Dan Jurafsky, another linguist, argues that Europeans imported guinea fowl from Ethiopia (which was sometimes mixed up with India) via the Mamluk Turks, and then confused the birds with North American fowl shipped across the Atlantic by the Portuguese.
    “土耳其”这个单词如何出现在英语语言中依然有争议。语言学家Mario 裴理推测大概在五个多世纪前,君士坦丁堡这个商业中心的土耳其人 (在15 世纪中叶被土耳其人征服)将来自西非几内亚的野禽(即珍珠鸡)卖到欧洲市场 ,所以那时的英国人称这种鸟为"土耳其公鸡",并最终以"土耳其"来简称这种动物。当英国移民抵达(美国)马萨诸塞州时,在这块新大陆上他们用同一个词来称呼他们在这片土地上看到的野禽,尽管这里的野禽不同于非洲的那种。词源学专家马克福赛思说土耳其商人把几内亚的这种野禽从马达加斯加带到英国,而西班牙征服者把美洲的野禽引到欧洲,所以就和来自马达加斯加的“土耳其”混合在一起了。丹 Jurafsky,另一个语言学家,认为欧洲人通过马穆鲁克土耳其人从埃塞俄比亚 (有时候人们将埃塞俄比亚同印度混在一起了) 进口几内亚野禽,然后与葡萄牙通过大西洋从北美进口的野禽混淆在一起了。

    The guinea fowl (left) vs.the North American turkey (Wikipedia)
    珍珠鸡(左图)和北美火鸡对比(图片来源:维基百科)
    Here's where things get even more bewildering. Turkey, which has no native turkeys, does not call turkey "turkey." The Turks "knew the bird wasn't theirs," Forsyth explains, so they "made a completely different mistake and called it a hindi, because they thought the bird was probably Indian." They weren't alone. The French originally called the American bird poulet d'Inde (literally "chicken from India"), which has since been abbreviated to dinde, and similar terms exist in languages ranging from Polish to Hebrew to Catalan. Then there's the oddly specific Dutch word kalkoen, which, as a contraction of Calicut-hoen, literally means "hen from Calicut," a major Indian commercial center at the time. These names may have arisen from the mistaken belief at the time that the New World was the Indies, or the sense that the turkey trade passed through India.
    事情还要更复杂。土耳其当地没有火鸡,他们也不把火鸡叫做“turkey”。他们“知道这玩意不是他们国家的“, 福赛斯是这么解释的,因此他们犯了一个完全不同的错误,把火鸡叫做hindi(印度语的意思),因为他们认为这玩意也许是印度的。有这种想法的人不止是土耳其人。法国人一开始把这种美国鸡称为poulet d'Inde(字面意思为来自印度的鸡),后来简称为dinde,类似的称谓也存在于波兰语、希伯来语和加泰罗尼亚语中。还有一个非常奇怪的特定荷兰语称谓kalkoen,是从Calicut-hoen这个词提炼出来的,字面意思是“来自卡利卡特的母鸡”, 卡利卡特曾是印度的主要商业中心之一。这些名称的来源也许是因为当时他们认为新世界指的是西印度群岛一带,或者是认为火鸡贸易途径印度。
    So what is the bird called in India? It may be hindi in Turkey, but in Hindi it's arki. Some Indian dialects, however, use the word piru or peru, the latter being how the Portuguese refer to the American fowl, which is not native to Peru but may have become popular in Portugal as Spanish and Portuguese explorers conquered the New World. The expansion of Western colonialism only complicated matters: Malaysians call turkey ayam blander (“Dutch chicken”), while Cambodians opt for moan barang (“French chicken”).
    那么火鸡在印度被称为什么呢?在土耳其他们称之为hindi,但是在印度语里他们称之为ṭarki。在一些印度方言里使用piru或者peru这个词,后者是葡萄牙语对美国火鸡的叫法,火鸡的原产地不是秘鲁,但是在西班牙和葡萄牙征服新大陆时在葡萄牙很受欢迎。西方殖民主义的扩张使事情更加复杂:马来西亚人把火鸡叫做ayam blander(荷兰鸡的意思),缅甸人选择了moan barang这个叫法(意思是法国鸡)
    Then there are the turkey truthers and linguistic revisionists. In the early 1990s, for instance, a debate broke out in the "letter to the editor" section of The New York Times over the possible Hebrew origins of the word "turkey." On December 13, 1992, Rabbi Harold M. Kamsler suggested (as a follow-up to a Thanksgiving-themed piece titled "One Strange Bird") that the New World fowl received its English name from Christopher Columbus's interpreter, Luis de Torres, a Jewish convert to Catholicism. In an October 12, 1492 letter to a friend in Spain, de Torres had referred to the American bird he encountered as a tuki, the word for "peacock" in ancient Hebrew and "parrot" in modern Hebrew (a more dubious version of this story claims that Columbus himself was a Jew who hid his identity in the aftermath of the Spanish Inquisition but drew on his lineage to christen the fowl).
    然后出现了火鸡真相者和语言学上的修正主义者。比如在1990年代初期的时候,在《纽约时报》的“给编者的话”板块上就引发了一场有关“火鸡”这个词可能来自希伯来语的可能性的争论。1992年12月13号,犹太拉比Harold M. Kamsler认为这种新世界飞禽的英文名字源于航海家哥伦布的口译人员 Luis de Torres(他是一名犹太人,后来皈依天主教)。在1492年12月12号给西班牙一位朋友的信件中, Luis de Torres将他在美国遇到的这种飞禽称为tuki,在古希伯来文中指的是“孔雀”的意思以及在现代的希伯来文中指的是“鹦鹉”的意思(而在一个更加可疑的故事版本中称哥伦布本人就是个犹太人,在西班牙宗教法庭建立后他隐藏了自己的身份,但是利用自己的血统为这种飞禽命名)。
    Kamsler's letter, however, was met with a firm rebuttal from the president of the Association for the Study of Jewish Languages, David L Gold. "Rabbi Kamsler's explanation, not original with him, is an old yarn spun in uninformed Jewish circles," Gold wrote. "Along with countless other pseudoscientific claims about supposed Hebrew influence on English and other languages, the myth of the Hebrew origin of 'turkey' was quietly exploded in volume 2 of Jewish Linguistic Studies (1990)."
    Kamsler的看法遭到了犹太语言研究协会主席David L Gold的反驳。“拉比Kamsler的解释简直胡说八道。可以在《犹太语言研究》的第二卷(1990)中找到证据证明:“火鸡”这个词并非来自希伯来语。
    The turkey's scientific name doesn't make much more sense than its vernacular one. Its binomial nomenclature, Meleagris gallopavo, is a hodgepodge. The first name comes from a Greek myth in which the goddess Artemis turned the grieving sisters of the slain Meleager into guinea fowls. The second name is a portmanteau: Gallo is derived from the Latin word for rooster, gallus, while pavo is the Latin word for peacock. So, effectively, the official name for a turkey is guinea-fowl-rooster-peacock.
    火鸡的科学命名并不比它的俗称更有意义。双名命名法,Meleagris gallopavo(吐绶鸡),本来就是一个大杂烩。第一个词来自于希腊神话:月亮女神阿耳忒弥斯将被杀死的梅利埃格的悲伤姐妹变成了珍珠鸡(guinea fowl)。第二个词是一个混合词:Gallo来源拉丁词”公鸡“,pavo来源拉丁词”孔雀“。所以,最终,火鸡的正式名称就是:珍珠鸡-公鸡-孔雀(guinea-fowl-rooster-peacock)。
    Reflecting on his interview with Mario Pei, NPR's Robert Krulwich noted that "for 500 years now, this altogether American, very gallant if not particularly intelligent animal has never once been given an American name." But the turkey does have many authentically American names—Americans just choose not to use them. After all, pre-Aztec and Aztec peoples domesticated the turkey more than a millennium before Columbus reached the New World (the Aztecs called the bird huehxolotl). There are numerous Native American words for the bird, including the Blackfoot term omahksipi'kssii, which literally means "big bird." It's a bit vague, sure, but it certainly beats guinea-fowl-rooster-peacock.
    回顾语言学家利奥-佩(Mario Pei)的采访,美国国家公共电台(NPR)的罗伯特-科尔维奇(Robert Krulwich)提到过”500年来,所有美国人非常殷切期盼这种并不太聪明的动物能有一个美国化的名字。”但是火鸡却有很多真正的美国名字,只是美国人没选用而已。毕竟,在哥伦布到达新世界前,阿兹特克人驯养火鸡(阿兹特克人称火鸡为“huehxolotl”)已经超过一千年了。有很多原生美国词汇形容这种鸟,包括黑脚部族把它叫做“omahksipi'kssii”,意思是“大鸟”。这么叫是有点含糊,没错,但是确实好过“珍珠鸡-公鸡-孔雀(guinea-fowl-rooster-peacock)”。

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